Author Topic: Accidents and mishaps at sea  (Read 120903 times)

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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #210 on: Mar 25, 2019, 09:19 PM »
Almost unbelievable photos of Viking Sky on Facebook...

Link above under "photos".
« Last Edit: Mar 25, 2019, 09:21 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Rob Lightbody

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Offline skilly56

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #212 on: Mar 26, 2019, 12:40 AM »
Peter,

Your 'Glitch in the control system' comment often happens, especially on new or nearly-new vessels.
On one occasion (and I have experienced several similar events on new or near-new vessels) I had a propulsion failure when both main engines shut down in heavy weather, and on a vessel that wasn't very old. We finally found the problem in the propulsion gearbox control circuitry - a wire had fallen out of a terminal connection - the wiring had all been installed into each respective connection on the terminal rail, but the terminal rail securing screws had never been tightened. In the rough weather, the weight of the wiring loom eventually pulled this wire out of the terminal rail connection.

Unfortunately, this wire was the one that told the engine control systems that the propulsion gearbox had sufficient oil pressure to safely function - when it fell out, the main engines stopped, as they were designed to do if the gearbox lost pressure.

Sometimes (in fact, nowadays, all too frequently!) the basic machinery doesn't have a problem, but the instrumentation & control systems require so many electrical devices & connections to monitor everything that the potential for failure in these circuits is far greater than for failure of the actual machinery. (Ask Boeing why they have made their 737 Max 8s so complex!).

Engineers these days don't actually monitor the engines as we did 'in the old days'. Today's engineers monitor the telemetry and readouts much more than walking around the machinery and actually looking, feeling & listening. And, to my way of thinking, something has been lost.

Skilly

Offline Twynkle

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #213 on: Mar 27, 2019, 08:37 PM »
From Facebook, GCaptain quoting Reuters
“The level of lubricating oil in the tanks was within set limits, however relatively low, when the vessel started to cross Hustadvika... The heavy seas in Hustadvika probably caused movements in the tanks so large that the supply to the lubricating oil pumps stopped. This triggered an alarm indicating a low level of lubrication oil, which in turn shortly thereafter caused an automatic shutdown of the engines," the Norwegian Maritime Authority said.
(UK and US have joined Norway’s in investigating further)


Earlier on Wednesday, the Viking Sky left the port of Molde, where it had been anchored since Sunday, for repairs at a shipyard in Kristiansund, some 70 km (43.5 miles) away. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Toby Chopra)

The Norwegian Maritime Authority’s full statement is below:

Last night, the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) granted the company a permit to sail on a single voyage to Kristiansund to have necessary repairs made. Throughout the night, the NMA has worked together with the ship’s classification society, Lloyd’s, and the company in order to identify the reason why the Viking Sky suffered power “blackout” at Hustadvika in challenging weather conditions on Saturday 23 March.

For the present, our conclusion is that the engine failure was directly caused by low oil pressure. The level of lubricating oil in the tanks was within set limits, however relatively low, when the vessel started to cross Hustadvika. The tanks were provided with level alarms, however these had not been triggered at this time. The heavy seas in Hustadvika probably caused movements in the tanks so large that the supply to the lubricating oil pumps stopped. This triggered an alarm indicating a low level of lubrication oil, which in turn shortly thereafter caused an automatic shutdown of the engines.

The NMA has drawn up a general safety notice about ensuring a continuous supply of lubricating oil to engines and other critical systems in poor weather conditions. This should be done in cooperation with the engine supplier and, moreover, be included in the ship’s risk assessments in the safety management system.

Viking Ocean Cruises has made the following statement: “We welcome the prompt and efficient investigation carried out by the NMA and we fully understand and acknowledge their findings. We have inspected the levels on all our sister ships and are now revising our procedures to ensure that this issue could not be repeated. We will continue to work with our partners and the regulatory bodies in supporting them with the ongoing investigations,”

Norwegian Maritime Authority is in a continuous dialogue with the company and classification society, and this cooperation has been successful. We will follow up the ongoing work to rectify damages on vessels. Furthermore, we will continue the constructive dialogue with the classification society, company and the Accident Investigation Board Norway in order to reveal underlying causes and identify appropriate measures.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019
« Last Edit: Mar 27, 2019, 08:42 PM by Twynkle »

Online Chris Thompson

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #214 on: Mar 27, 2019, 09:27 PM »
Very worrying report, when you think about the length of time that diesel power has been
in use at sea something as essential as an engine lubrication system should be designed to tolerate heavy seas.
BTW...considering some of the conditions that the QE2 regularly sailed through, the 20 foot seas and wind speeds quoted were rather moderate.........

Offline Rod

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #215 on: Mar 28, 2019, 01:50 AM »
QE2 had the same problem, but different area. Boiler water levels.
However we would take precautions by jacking fuel valves open in rough weather, so they would not close automatically.

Offline skilly56

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #216 on: Mar 28, 2019, 03:30 AM »
Great to see the problem found so quickly, and I am very happy to be wrong!

But, who instructed the crew to operate the engines with the oil tank levels so low (even though they were still within limits)? Normal practice on ships I have been on is to operate with the tank levels quite a way above the minimum marks to prevent weather conditions/purifying operations etc from causing a low alarm condition.

Skilly

Offline Twynkle

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #217 on: Mar 28, 2019, 08:48 PM »
Hi Skilly,


https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/viking-sky-lost-engine-power-because-of-low-levels-of-lubricating-oil/

Seems as if there are still more questions, hoping you won't mind!
Lubricating oil - Isn't this just for greasing - like Vaseline? (Petroleum jelly!)  - and would it have be kept warm to loosen it prior to use?

And - although it evidently moved with the ship one way, perhaps it hadn't moved back closer to the sensors?
Might the dials have been read earlier when the ship was steady, and then showing as moderately high?

When the ship was being built, wouldn't a situation similar to this one have been anticipated and tested in tanks, prior to final assessments regarding "fitness to travel"?

Offline skilly56

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #218 on: Mar 29, 2019, 01:31 AM »
Rosie,

Lube oil isn't for greasing - it's for preventing your engines from seizing! (ha! Poetry!)
The oil has nearly the same viscosity as the oil in your car engine, and does exactly the same job - it lubricates the moving internal parts and prevents metal-to-metal contact (which would generate a hot spot, and probably lead to engine failure).
The oil also takes heat away from the internal components and transfers it to the engine cooling water, sometimes in a sea water cooler, and sometimes in a fresh-water cooled cooler (depends on manufacturers preferences).

And it's third purpose is to remove wear particles from inside the engine and carry them to the oil filters.

If you take a bucket half full of water and start swinging it backward & forward, eventually you will get water right up one side of the bucket, and have the bottom of the bucket nearly exposed on the other side. The water will 'surge' across the bucket as it is moved. Imagine the low oil level float being located on the side where the bottom of the bucket is nearly exposed - it will trigger a Low Level alarm.

However, the alarm response time is normally adjustable - ie., imagine if the oil tank level alarm delay is set for 15 seconds, and the alarm float switch is down for 10 seconds (indicating a low oil level), the alarm will not physically activate.
But, if the alarm delay is set for 5 seconds, and the float switch is down for 10 seconds the alarm will activate. This alarm does not shut the engine down - it just tells the duty engineer he needs to transfer some fresh oil from the storage tank to the engine sump tank. The alarm delay settings are there to enable the alarm activation time to be 'delayed' so as to prevent continuous false alarms when the fluids are surging around the tank in bad weather.

However, in the Viking Sky, the engines actually shut down. This means the engine oil levels in the sump tanks got so low that the oil pumps sucked air, the engine oil pressure dropped suddenly, and the engine oil pressure shutdown switch was instantly activated (no delay time allowed on this one!), and worked properly to protect the engine.

So, why didn't their engine's oil sump tank low level alarms activate early enough to give the engineers time to top up the oil levels before the shutdowns occurred? That is the big question!

When all this electronic control wizardry began being installed in ships back in the 70s & 80s, there used to be what was called a 'Function Test' button. Once a day we would press it, just before putting the engine room to bed. The Function Switch would instantly test ALL the many hundreds of alarm channels and ensure their integrity & functionality, and those circuits that had delays incorporated would indicate this by taking anything up to 30 seconds before their indicator light would begin flashing. So, after 30 seconds, I could, at a glance, scan all the channels to ensure they were all working before the engine room was left un-manned for the night. Passenger vessels are forbidden to operate with the engine control room un-manned, but that is no excuse for not testing the alarm circuits & functions.

However, as time has gone by, and the electronic complexity has increased, I have been seeing this facility to 'Function Test' all the channels has slowly disappeared. But, having said that, if one gets a broken wire on a circuit, it should pop up as a fault and tell the engineer it has failed.

Viking Sky should have low oil level float alarms in the sump tanks. Why did they not go off well before the engine oil pumps lost suction? Or are they fitted at the wrong level? Or, had someone, with all 4 alarms continually sounding off together, thought there must have been a common alarm system fault and muted the alarms? Trying to physically dip the tanks in that weather is hopeless - you have to bring the oil levels up to the correct marks before you hit the rough weather (knowing what was outside, they should have checked the levels while they were still navigating the 'Inside Passage'). It's called 'Anticipation' and 'Forethought'!

This ship had probably never been in weather so wild before (which makes me laugh - seeing the video footage, it was not really that rough! Cargo vessels normally plod straight through that stuff every day, but cruise ships desperately try to avoid it because they want their passengers to return another day).

I will be awaiting the MAIB report with interest.

Cheers,
Skilly

ps - interesting to note Viking Sky's engines are smaller models of those fitted to QE2
« Last Edit: Mar 29, 2019, 08:05 AM by skilly56 »

Offline Rod

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #219 on: Mar 29, 2019, 11:31 AM »
Skilly might not even get this one, but possibly there might even be "one too many matchsticks" allowed into play?

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #220 on: Jun 02, 2019, 02:21 PM »
The MSC Opera has hit the quay and another vessel at Venice:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48489523
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #221 on: Jun 02, 2019, 03:05 PM »
It must have been a terrifying experience for passengers on the river boat seeing a huge ship sailing towards the boat and for the passengers on the MSC Opera when the lines from the tugs broke and they realised that the ship they were on was out of control. 

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www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #223 on: Jun 02, 2019, 04:21 PM »
Poor Venice... the people there must be so fed up with the giant cruise ships...

Glad that no major injuries resulted. It could have been much worse...

P.S. The name of the ship is slightly ironic, Venice being such an opera paradise!
« Last Edit: Jun 02, 2019, 04:25 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Reply #224 on: Jun 02, 2019, 06:27 PM »
The MSC Opera has hit the quay and another vessel at Venice:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48489523

Horrific video. They're very lucky indeed that nobody was killed either on the dock, or on the river boat.

https://twitter.com/Spammals/status/1135196620495233025
« Last Edit: Jun 02, 2019, 06:30 PM by Rob Lightbody »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.